Twin Peaks, And The Art Of Rewatching Television.

I’ve been rewatching Twin Peaks ahead of the revival later this month.

It’s a show I’ve seen several times in its entirety. This is unusual in and of itself, as I can’t think of another television show where the compulsion to return has ever been there (please note, this isn’t a smite on their related qualities). That the act of rewatching long-form television shows has little appeal to me is no doubt due to a combination of length and commitment.

This actually seems to be a bit of a cultural issue with “serious” television. Unlike classic cinema one rarely hears of the constant cycle of discovery and rediscovery of classic television, barring the odd exception (The Sopranos, The Wire, sitcoms). I’ve often wondered if television has its own type of cinephile, wherein the eager young viewer will work their way through the canon of essential long-form viewing. Perhaps its the circles I’m surrounded by, but there doesn’t appear to be such a group. The manner with which we consume our media might see this shift, but who knows; dedicating ones self and ones time to 331 episodes of E.R., or 7,154 minutes to Hill Street Blues is a much bigger ask and task than, say, watching the complete Orson Welles filmography, or the whole Truffaut oeuvre.

Indeed, someone pointed out on social media just this past weekend that Twin Peaks: The Return will see David Lynch direct around 18 hours of material, almost matching the career-to-date feature film sum of 21 hours or so he’s put out across the past forty years. The vastness of television is actually pretty overwhelming.

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